African-American folk poetry: gandy dancers

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Excerpt of a film by Barry Dornfeld and Maggie Holtzberg-Call

Gandy dancers were the guys who straightened track. A YouTube preview from a full-length documentary (not embeddable) on Folkstreams.net.

Burger Man by Gaia Holmes

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Poem by Gaia Holmes

Film by Sharon Keighley, with narration by Lela Keighley

Thanks to Michelle at Peony Moon for bringing the work of this fine English poet to my attention.

Sonnet of Addressing Oscar Wilde by Anne Carson

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Poem by Anne Carson, from Possessive Used as Drink (Me), a lecture on pronouns in the form of 15 sonnets

Video by Sadie Wilcox

See “Recipe” for more information on the production.

Paris at Night by Jacques Prévert

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Poem by Jacques Prévert

Video by vandicla

Here for reference purposes are the text and an English translation as copied from an anonymous webpage, which notes that the title of the original is in English:

Paris at Night

Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit
La première pour voir ton visage tout entier
La seconde pour voir tes yeux
La dernière pour voir ta bouche
Et l’obscurité tout entiére pour me rappeler tout cela
En te serrant dans mes bras.
Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see the whole of your face
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the complete and utter darkness to remember them all
While holding you in my arms.

 

Though in other video poems I might object to a less than fully audible reading, here, I like the way the poem is submerged — a low mutter appropriate to the darkness from which flame, face, and song struggle to emerge.

Meta-Free-Phor-All

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The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Meta-Free-Phor-All: Shall I Nail Thee to a Summer’s Day?
comedycentral.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

Something for April Fool’s Day — and the first day of (Inter-)National Poetry Month — from a king of fools. This episode of the Colbert Report aired on April 19, 2007. Colbert seems to genuinely like poetry, and has interviewed a number of poets on his show. I like the way this skit plays off the misconception popular with people who “just don’t understand poetry”: that a poem (or metaphor) is basically a code with one correct solution. I’m also impressed by Robert Pinksy’s stage presence and acting skills.

Incision by Jillian Weise

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Poem by Jillian Weise, from An Amputee’s Guide to Sex

Animation by John Roberts

From the publisher’s description:

The Amputee’s Guide to Sex is an authentic exploration of disability and sexuality. Tired of seeing “cripples” appear as asexual characters in all forms of media, Weise took on a subject close to home: her own disability. This does not mean that these poems “happened” to Weise in real life. While based on the experience of an above-the-knee amputee, the poems have a life of their own.

Lullaby by Anne Sexton

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Poem by Anne Sexton

Video by Jeff Doud